FINDING HEAVEN IN THE CITY OF ANGELS

One of the most innovative hotels in the Thai capital, 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok combines the timeless grace of the group’s iconic Chiang Mai property with unashamedly contemporary urban flare, discovers Nick Walton

What’s the backstory?
Lovers of luxury will know that 137 Pillars is a byword for timeless colonial-esque refinement. The acclaimed 137 Pillars Chiang Mai property is the kind of property well- heeled travellers like to keep secret from the masses. Now, the beautiful new 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok gives savvy travellers even more reason to stay
mum.

What’s the style?
137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok is chic and modern but also a little eclectic – like all good hotels it can be many things to many travellers. The hotel boasts 179 ‘residences’ and 34 ‘suites’, but this is where the confusion starts. Unlike at many other hotels, the Suites are the coveted spaces here; while the Residences are great for longer-stay guests, and feature separate living rooms and kitchenettes (they actually go for less per night), the Suites start from 64sqm and offer access to
private enclaves throughout the hotel.

How are the rooms?
Our Sukhothai Suite is dark, sexy, and cosy, with a flatscreen television on the wall, plush 400-thread count linens on the bed, an oversized bath in the marble bathroom, and brilliant views from the spacious day bed-lined balcony. There’s a fully-stocked maxi bar, a Bose sound system, 24-hour butler service, and an ambiance of utter indulgence. However, it’s not a suite per se as there’s no separate living space. For a true suite experience, you’ll need to go for one of the other room categories, each named for Thai dynasties, including Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin.

So, the suites come with perks?
That’s right, Suite guests have access to a private rooftop pool and sun deck that’s so mesmerising it’s worth the upgrade all by itself. The rooftop infinity pool has to be one of Asia’s most breathtaking and the four oversized day beds on the roof come with intimate pool butler service and access to an exclusive cocktail bar. In addition, Suite guests have access to the refined Leonowens Club, an exclusive lounge that serves sublime breakfasts and afternoon teas by Michelin-starred Roger van Damme by day and cocktails and canapes by night. The Club is a great spot for meetings or casual catch ups and as a first destination before heading out to bar hop Bangkok’s
mixology hotspots.

What else is there to do?
There’s plenty, from a state-of-the-art fitness centre with personal trainers, including Thai kick boxing instructors; a golf simulator and putting green; another pool with pool bar and jacuzzi that’s also open to Residences guests, and a traditional London cab to whisk you off to the BTS station. For spaophiles, the Nitra Spa specializes in Wellness by Design, and offers a host of innovative treatments and rituals, including a newly launched sleep series.

What about dining?
The hotel offers dining at both ends of the spectrum; while Nimitr is the home of chef Nanang Prasetya Aditama’s elegant yet cutting-edge Thai gastronomy, where traditional dishes are given a modern and delectable twist – think North Atlantic langoustine with matcha soba noodles, lemongrass aspic and namprik gel – downstairs, the all-day Bangkok Trading Post is often packed with chic locals and has a brilliant menu of Asian and Western dishes, as well as al fresco seating in the hotel’s gardens. Be sure to leave time for a classic cocktail in the hotel’s speakeasy, the luxurious Jack Bain’s Bar, a cosy, gentleman’s club- styled cigar and cocktail divan filled with leather chairs and quirk art pieces (don’t miss the Asmodeus, a blend of vodka, vermouth, and house butterflypea syrup). Below, the Marble Bar, with its al fresco seating and breathtaking views, is the place to while away a warm Bangkok evening.

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